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New India Assurance Co. and ors. Vs. H. Siddalinga Naik and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectInsurance;Motor Vehicles
CourtKarnataka High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported inII(1984)ACC528
AppellantNew India Assurance Co. and ors.
RespondentH. Siddalinga Naik and ors.
Excerpt:
.....the revisional court, is not proper. the respondent is at liberty to file appropriate petition in accordance with law. - in the accident, siddalinganaika as well as p. adverting to the second point, in section 2 of the policy, it is very clearly stated that the insurer will indemnify the insured in the event of accident caused by or arising out of use of motor car, including claims, costs and expenses which the insurer had become legally liable to pay on death or bodily injury to any person......one siddalinganaika was proceeding to hale yalanadu in the jeep belonging to the vani vilas sugar factory limited, hiriyur, to attend the 'vaikuntha samaradbana' in the house of one k. seetharamaiah the then chairman of the vani vilas sagar sugar factory, hiriyur. they were proceeding at the invitation of seetharamaiah. when the jeep left hiriyur, the petitioner siddalinganaika was the only occupant in the jeep apart from the driver. when the jeep was proceeding, it met with an accident. a lorry bearing no. myn 3196 came from the opposite direction with high speed and dashed against the jeep. the first respondent in the petitioner was driving the lorry, while p.w. 1 syed isaak was driving the jeep belonging to the sugar factory. in the accident, siddalinganaika as well as p.w. 6.....
Judgment:

G.N. Sabhahit, J.

1. The appeals arise out of judgment and award dated 31st day of March, 1979 passed by the Claims Tribunal, Chitradurga in MVC No. 3 of 1972.

2. The brief facts giving rise to the present appeals are these:

On 9-8-1971, one Siddalinganaika was proceeding to Hale Yalanadu in the Jeep belonging to the Vani Vilas Sugar Factory Limited, Hiriyur, to attend the 'Vaikuntha Samaradbana' in the house of one K. Seetharamaiah the then Chairman of the Vani Vilas Sagar Sugar Factory, Hiriyur. They were proceeding at the invitation of Seetharamaiah. When the jeep left Hiriyur, the petitioner Siddalinganaika was the only occupant in the jeep apart from the driver. When the jeep was proceeding, it met with an accident. A lorry bearing No. MYN 3196 came from the opposite direction with high speed and dashed against the jeep. The first respondent in the petitioner was driving the lorry, while P.W. 1 Syed Isaak was driving the jeep belonging to the Sugar Factory. In the accident, Siddalinganaika as well as P.W. 6 Narayanappa sustained injuries. The injured persons were removed to the Hiriyur hospital and they were treated. Petitioner in MVC 3 of 1972 examined as P.W. 7 was further taken to Bangalore Hospital on the same day and he was admitted to St. Martha's Hospital. He was in the hospital for twenty-eight days. After his discharge, he attended the hospital for some more time. He was not fully cured though he took treatment by several doctors. The injured had sustained severe injuries and suffered deformity in his left arm and in right leg. His left hand was shortened by 3/4'. He had prolonged treatment and suffered agony. He was disabled. He applied before the Tribunal for compensation claiming Rs. 1,30,000/- from owners and insures of both the vehicles. The tribunal appreciating the evidence on record held that accident was due to the rash and negligent driving of both the vehicles, and it apportioned the liability of 50 per cent on each vehicle driver and awarded compensation of Rs. 61,970/- to the injured claimant. Aggrieved by the said judgment and award, the insurance company of the Lorry has instituted MFA 1000/79. Insurer of jeep has instituted MFA 1258/79, owner of the jeep has instituted MFA 1043/79 and claimant has instituted MFA 1179/79 complaining that compensation awarded, is not adequate.

3. It may be noted that when the appeal of the claimant was pending, he died and his legal representatives are brought on record. It also appears that the owner of the lorry also died during the pendency of the proceeding before the tribunal. But there was no award made against him.

4. We will first take up for consideration the appeal made' by the claimant in MFA No. 1179/79. He has no doubt made a grievance that the compensation awarded is not adequate. But the evidence on record discloses that he died during the pendency of this appeal. Along with him, is claim for higher compensation also abates. The appeal is therefore liable to be dismissed and it is accordingly dismissed. No costs in appeal.

5. We will next advert to the appeal made by the insurer of the lorry in MFA No. 1000/79. The grievance of the Insurance Company is that the owner of the vehicle died even during the pendency of the claim petition before the tribunal and as such, no award could be passed against the Insurance Company.

6. There is no substance in the contention so raised because Section 102 of Motor Vehicles Act states:

Notwithstanding anything contained in Section 306 of the Indian Succession Act. 1925, the death of a person in whose favour a certificate of insurance had been issued, if it occurs after the happening of an event which has given rise to a claim under the provisions of this Chapter, shall not be a bar to the survival of any cause of action arising out of the said event against his estate or against the insurer.

In this case, the claim petition was already filed before the Tribunal and Insurance Company had issued the policy. That being so, the fact that the owner of the lorry dies, makes no difference. The tribunal has rightly passed award against the Insurer. Hence, there is no substance in this appeal and it is liable to be dismissed. Accordingly it is dismissed. No costs in the appeal.

7. Next we will advert to the Mis. First appeal No. 1043 of 1979. This appeal is by the owner of the jeep. The only contention raised is that the injured was travelling in the jeep as a gratuitous passenger. The evidence on record shows that there was 'Vatkuntha Samaradhana' in the house of the Chairman of the V.V. Sugar Factory and it was the Chairman of the sugar factory who had sent the jeep to bring the person concerned. That being so, he cannot be heard to say that the person who was travelling in the jeep was a gratuitous passenger. The tribunal has rightly rejected his plea. We see no reason to differ. (Vide Pushpa bai and Ors. v. M.S. Ranjit Ginning and Pressing Company Private Ltd., and Anr. A.I.R. 1977 S.C. 176. Therefore, the appeal is liable to be dismissed and accordingly it is dismissed. No costs of this appeal.

8. Lastly, we will take up for consideration MFA 1258/79 instituted by the insurer of the jeep. The learned Counsel for the appellant strenuously urged before us that the jeep was to be used only for official purpose of the sugar factory and since attending the function in the house of the Chairman of the Sugar Factory cannot be considered to be an official function, he submitted that the Insurance Company was not liable to pay the damages. He next contended that the policy does not cover passenger liability in the jeep. Adverting to the first contention, it is obvious that the policy not only covers the official purpose of the sugar factory, but also social domestic and pleasure purposes and for the insurer's business. Therefore, the argument advanced before us holds no water. Adverting to the second point, in Section 2 of the Policy, it is very clearly stated that the insurer will indemnify the insured in the event of accident caused by or arising out of use of motor car, including claims, costs and expenses which the insurer had become legally liable to pay on death or bodily injury to any person. Therefore, it is obvious that passenger's liability also is covered. The only exception made therein is personal injury or death liability to employees and nothing else. Hence, there is no substance in the submission that the policy does not cover passenger liability. In fact, except the contracting parties, insured, insurer, all others are considered as third parties for purpose of liability. this Court had occasion to deal with a similar clause and interpret the same in Indian Mercantile Insurance Company and Anr. v. Gowramma and Ors. I.L.R. 1979(1) (Kar) at 887. Interpreting similar clause in the policy, this Court has held by a Division Bench of which one of us was a party, that the clause includes passenger liability also. Hence, there is no substance in the contention raised before us that the policy does not cover passenger liability in the jeep. This appeal has no substance and is liable to be dismissed and we dismiss the same. No costs of this appeal.


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